It’s been 365 days since a judge asked me if I really wanted to dissolve my marriage. I answered yes. Not once in the past 365 days have I wavered or questioned if I answered that judge correctly.
Without the burden of trying to save my marriage, I have had the rare and beautiful opportunity to rediscover and redefine myself. In the past year, I have learned more about myself than I ever could have imagined.
Divorce, something I never thought would happen to me, something I thought was for quitters, something that was "not an option" (quoting myself in 2011) is now something I’m almost proud of.
Here’s why I love my divorce and the lessons it has taught me:
- My divorce proved that you really can love each other but you cannot stay married. My ex-husband never made me doubt his love or devotion. It was maddening and insanely hurtful that he wouldn’t be intimate with me, but I did know it was his deep-seeded issue and not a reflection of his love for me. I am fortunate that I still believe in love.
- My divorce showed me that I have a strong support network. I felt so alone and humiliated as I protected Max and my relationship disintegrated. Once I knew the relationship was over and I started revealing the truth to my inner circle, no one made me feel judged. When I needed love or encouragement, it was a matter of which incredible person’s support I wanted to pick. I will never forget this.
- My divorce is a reminder that divorce doesn’t have to be cruel. Max and I lived together for six months after the divorce was final, and we learned how to be respectful of each other’s space while slowly cultivating a friendship. We continue to work on our friendship.
- My divorce awakened my sexual self. I bought a vibrator. I started hooking up with a guy seven years younger than me. I slept with someone’s boyfriend (will not repeat). I had peel-me-off-the-ceiling Incredible Sex for months. My sexual self is awesome. I’m pleased to remake her acquaintance.
- My divorce means I got to meet you, dear reader, through my blog and Twitter. Your stories and comments have helped me sort through my mess of complicated emotions. I am so grateful!
Most importantly, my divorce symbolizes taking control of my future and my happiness. I felt trapped and miserable and terrified of the D word. I changed all of that. And my life is better because of it.
Thank you for readership and support of Surviving and Thriving in the First Year of My Divorce. Let’s continue the ride and join me for another year!